I’m off on a camping adventure with my youngest.  She loves her time just one-on-one with me. We haven’t camped for several years – maybe 8 or 10 – so this is a pretty big deal. I shied away from sleeping on the cold, damp, ground when I had trouble with my joints every morning. I’m banking on some renewed health to avoid that problem.  But I still have to remember all the gear to pack, and I have to plan a campfire menu to suit both of our diets.


Years ago this would have been so simple: hotdogs, canned spaghetti, cereal and milk, pop & chips, and s’mores. That was back in the good old days when I didn’t know any better.  It still amazes (and shames me a little) that I had no idea what garbage I was feeding my kids. I have always been a trusting person, though.  I see the good in everyone, even when they behave badly. I saw the good in our food safety regulations and didn’t consider they would allow us to eat anything that caused cancer, clogged our arteries, or got us addicted to sugar. Now, to live the enlightened life….

It’s really not that hard on a day-to-day basis. The more I learn the more adjustments I make. I’m far from perfect and still stray back to some of those bad habits, like potato chips, a particular evil addiction of mine. But I’m finding healthier alternatives. I’m learning not to eat for comfort, just for fuel. And I’m learning that healthy actually tastes great!

chickpea taboulehI have this one salad I make easily two or three times a week.  It has a kale base, I throw in raw or grilled veggies, cilantro, lime juice, tamari, nutritional yeast, and hemp hearts. It’s loaded with protein and the flavour combination is off the charts. You can find the recipe in Plant-Based Paleo. Pictured here is another one I discovered recently on Foodie Crush.  It’s a quinoa-based tabbouleh. Fresh parsley and mint from the garden with tomato, onion and cucumber, and a simple dressing.  I added chickpeas to part of this recipe, and served the rest without. So, how to move this greatness outdoors, over a campfire?

Here’s the plan:

  • I’m prepping some grilled vegetables, quinoa, and black bean burgers ahead
  • I bought some boxed Daiya Mac & Cheese (my daughter will LOVE that!)
  • I made guacamole, hummus, salsa, and salad dressing
  • I have jars of homemade mayo, hemp milk, and pasta sauce
  • I bought gluten-free wraps, bread, and nachos
  • I found a lentil barley soup mix in a box
  • I made seitan (totally easy!) I can fry up for a mock BLT, or throw it in salad
  • I have chickpea pasta that only needs sauce and is still loaded with protein
  • I have some organic chicken burgers, sandwich meat, and all-beef hotdogs for her (we’re slowly making progress on the full conversion)
  • I found some vegan marshmallows, chocolate and graham wafers! Hurrah!

Isn’t this amazing? Almost all of it fits in my current 30 Day Transformation eating plan (but who can camp without s’mores?) It just took some open eyes when I was shopping, a bit of planning, and a bit of preparation ahead of time.  Doesn’t any camping trip need that? I’m so excited to add this to my list of plant-based accomplishments. I’m aiming for little waste as well.  I have old camp cookware, plates and silverware. I’m bringing almost everything in containers from home. We have stainless steel water bottles, ceramic coffee cups, and homemade bug spray. I even have extra pieces from my skid planters for starter firewood.  (They still haven’t fully transitioned to planters yet. Maybe next year. See my plans here.)

So, here we go! Off an adventure of food, nature, and mother-daughter time. If the rain holds off nothing can stand in our way!